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jmcclain19
03-20-2006, 08:16 PM
Something tells me this is only going to get worse

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060320&content_id=1357080&vkey=spt2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


Soriano, Nats at impasse over outfield
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com

VIERA, Fla. -- Second baseman Alfonso Soriano informed the Nationals on Monday afternoon that he will not play outfield for them, while the team told him that he could be placed on the disqualified list if he failed to do so.

Soriano, who played most of March representing the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic, was set to hit leadoff and play the outfield for the Nationals against the Dodgers on Monday night. But when the players went out on the field, only eight players were present.

Manager Frank Robinson then went to home plate umpire Mike Estabrook and told him that a lineup change was going to be made. Brandon Watson, who was supposed to sit out the game, went to center field, while Ryan Church switched from center to left field.

A few minutes later, general manager Jim Bowden indicated that Soriano will be given a second chance to play the outfield on Wednesday afternoon against the Cardinals. If Soriano refused to play the outfield that day, the team most likely will put him on the disqualified list without pay.

"He made it pretty clear that he was not going to play," Bowden said. "We hope that when he reflects on it, we hope that he changes his mind and plays left field."

Soriano was acquired from the Rangers this offseason for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge and right-hander Armando Galarraga.

RedsManRick
03-20-2006, 08:18 PM
Soriano, Gary Sheffield called. He wants his "crappy attitude back and willingness to put himself ahead of his team" back.

KronoRed
03-20-2006, 08:19 PM
How long till the players union jumps in to defend him?

TC81190
03-20-2006, 08:23 PM
Why did Bowden trade for Soriano though. He had Vidro, he had Wilkerson...it just never made sense to me.

KronoRed
03-20-2006, 08:25 PM
Why did Bowden trade for Soriano though. He had Vidro, he had Wilkerson...it just never made sense to me.
Bowden can't resist 5 tool players, he just can't.

flyer85
03-20-2006, 08:29 PM
Bowden can't resist 5 tool players, he just can't.Soriano is definitely a tool.

StillFunkyB
03-20-2006, 08:32 PM
Soriano is definitely a tool.

Ahh, too easy! ;)

Strikes Out Looking
03-20-2006, 08:41 PM
In depth article in today's Washington Post (washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com)) about this subject. Bowden gambled on the deal without finding out if he'd play the OF--he had refused to go to SS for the Rangers and actually almost became an OF for the Yankees when he first came up (they preferred him there, but he had to play 2b when Chuck Knoblach had his throwing problems).

TOBTTReds
03-20-2006, 08:42 PM
Ahh, too easy! ;)

Ah, i thought the easy one was that Bowden is definitely a tool.

buckshotrod
03-20-2006, 08:45 PM
How many of you guys wanted this a-hole the other day? Soriano is a virus and don't deserve to put on the uniform. :mooner:

Heath
03-20-2006, 08:46 PM
Soriano & 10 Million for Womack.

captainmorgan07
03-20-2006, 08:53 PM
this trade still does puzzle me something tells me soriano won't ever put on a nats uniform

jmcclain19
03-20-2006, 08:54 PM
Honestly - What about Milton, and his entire contract for Soriano straight up?

let him leave next year, take the draft pick, Milton is clear next season and Soriano's money can be added to the Milton and Wilson money next season to get at least two solid starters in the free agent market?

Just something to think about

Nugget
03-20-2006, 09:01 PM
The problem is that you will need someone to take Soriano to get the draft pick. Given that he gets 10million this yaer he will probably chuck a Sosa if someone wants to sign him below that. If he sits out a year - do the REDS still get a draft pick?

MartyFan
03-20-2006, 09:14 PM
Soriano has ALWAYS said he will not move to the OF, this is not a mystery...additionally Soriano is in a year where if his numbers hold up he will be paid HUGE BUCKS...now he is in cavernas DC and being asked to move to the OF...he is trying to force a trade to ANYPLACE that has a hitter friendly park where he can play 2B...hmmm...do the NATS want MILTON if we take Soriano?

MartyFan
03-20-2006, 09:15 PM
Honestly - What about Milton, and his entire contract for Soriano straight up?

let him leave next year, take the draft pick, Milton is clear next season and Soriano's money can be added to the Milton and Wilson money next season to get at least two solid starters in the free agent market?

Just something to think about

Didn't see this post...my thoughts exactly

TC81190
03-20-2006, 09:16 PM
No way Bowden would do it ever unless we sent Milton to Home Depot on the way.

MartyFan
03-20-2006, 09:17 PM
No way Bowden would do it ever unless we sent Milton to Home Depot on the way.

NO PROBLEM...You pack his bags, I'll buy the plane ticket

Gainesville Red
03-20-2006, 09:19 PM
This type of thing is unbelievable. Someone should make Soriano stock the shelves at a grocery store, or work in some type of factory or something for a week.

Hey Soriano--You've got the best job in the world, and it makes you filthy rich! Things aren't so bad. Just suit up and play.

MartyFan
03-20-2006, 09:29 PM
And if the folks stocking the shelves had the talent to demand another .25 on the hour maybe they should patrol 2B in a MLB game for a week?

Sounds like a winner to me!

vaticanplum
03-20-2006, 11:06 PM
This type of thing is unbelievable. Someone should make Soriano stock the shelves at a grocery store, or work in some type of factory or something for a week.

Hey now...Soriano grew up (I believe) without much money in the Dominican Republic, and had to adjust to live in two very different countries, Japan and the US, when he was a very young player. I completely agree that he's acting like a total crybaby and needs to shut his mouth and play, but it's not like this is a guy unfamiliar with hardship. I guess he just feels he's earned it.

It's too bad, he really has been one of my favorite players to watch over the least several years, and it would be a true shame if he let his ego stop him from a great career.

flyer85
03-20-2006, 11:13 PM
Someone should make Soriano stock the shelves at a grocery store, or work in some type of factory or something for a week. That would be Matt Harrington.

Gainesville Red
03-20-2006, 11:23 PM
Hey now...Soriano grew up (I believe) without much money in the Dominican Republic, and had to adjust to live in two very different countries, Japan and the US, when he was a very young player. I completely agree that he's acting like a total crybaby and needs to shut his mouth and play, but it's not like this is a guy unfamiliar with hardship. I guess he just feels he's earned it.

It's too bad, he really has been one of my favorite players to watch over the least several years, and it would be a true shame if he let his ego stop him from a great career.



You know, I thought about this right after I posted. He prob. came from poverty, and if he didn't, he's almost certainly seen it. This makes it even harder for me to understand where he's coming from. You're making a super duper lot of money, play the game dude.

Cyclone792
03-21-2006, 12:31 AM
Ah, the Soriano for Wilkerson deal brings back fond memories of Bowden ...



Lifetime
OBP SLG OPS RC/27 OPS+ 2006 Salary 2006 Age
Soriano .320 .500 .920 5.62 111 $10.00 million 30
Wilkerson .365 .452 .917 5.67 111 $3.90 million 29


Excellent job, Bowden, of determining which player is the better value.

savafan
03-21-2006, 02:42 AM
Soriano doesn't want to switch positions to a spot that he isn't comfortable with playing. I don't see why he is the bad guy here. The fault in this mess lies with Jim Bowden.

Griffey doesn't want to move from centerfield, and no one here is calling him a crybaby.

Nugget
03-21-2006, 02:55 AM
There's a lot of difference. Junior hasn't been requested to shift. Also last year when he came back to the start of ST he played the corner outfield positions.

Gainesville Red
03-21-2006, 03:01 AM
I can't ever remember a time when Jr. refused to take the field. That's unacceptable. Frank Robinson should let the air out of Soriano's tires in the parking lot.

savafan
03-21-2006, 03:06 AM
There's a lot of difference. Junior hasn't been requested to shift. Also last year when he came back to the start of ST he played the corner outfield positions.

Soriano doesn't feel comfortable playing the outfield. He is a second baseman. Looking at the similar batters to Soriano on baseball-reference.com, I see Larry Walker's name mentioned. You wouldn't move Walker to second base if he wasn't comfortable playing there.

Soriano has never played the outfield. Jose Vidro played 3 games in leftfield in 1999. Why not move Vidro to the outfield?

Ravenlord
03-21-2006, 03:31 AM
Soriano has never played the outfield. Jose Vidro played 3 games in leftfield in 1999. Why not move Vidro to the outfield?
because Vidro doesn't make Tony Womack and Ryan Freel look like Mazeroski.

Larry Walker has played 2B twice.

and if memory serves, Soriano played LF for awhile in the minors.

savafan
03-21-2006, 03:36 AM
because Vidro doesn't make Tony Womack and Ryan Freel look like Mazeroski.

Larry Walker has played 2B twice.

and if memory serves, Soriano played LF for awhile in the minors.

Yeah, but if Larry Walker didn't want to play 2B, then you wouldn't make him, right? ;)

Soriano still hasn't played the outfield in the majors, parts of 7 seasons now.

Cyclone792
03-21-2006, 03:38 AM
An odd twist of events in the career of Alfonso Soriano ...

Soriano was originally signed by a Japanese club as a shortstop, then sold to the Yankees as a shortstop in 1999. But then there was an epiphany that went off in New York that anybody not named Derek Jeter was going to play shortstop for the Yankees anytime soon so they moved Soriano to third base.

However, in 2000 the Yankees still had Scott Brosius at third base so they tossed around the notion of having Soriano give outfield a shot to increase their options with him and to increase his trade value. I'm not sure how many minor league games he actually appeared in the outfield, but I do remember there being discussion about whether or not he had the glove to be a middle infielder or the bat to be a corner outfielder. They also had Soriano spend a little bit of time at second base for emergency reasons ...

And those emergency reasons came to life when second baseman Chuck Knoblauch forgot how to throw a ball to first base. The Yankees decided the best option was to move Knoblauch to left field, thereby moving Soriano to second base full-time on the big squad in 2001. They also traded one Wily Mo Pena to the Reds for Drew Henson with hopes that Henson would eventually take over for Brosius at third.

Ravenlord
03-21-2006, 03:46 AM
An odd twist of events in the career of Alfonso Soriano ...

Soriano was originally signed by a Japanese club as a shortstop, then sold to the Yankees as a shortstop in 1999. But then there was an epiphany that went off in New York that anybody not named Derek Jeter was going to play shortstop for the Yankees anytime soon so they moved Soriano to third base.

However, in 2000 the Yankees still had Scott Brosius at third base so they tossed around the notion of having Soriano give outfield a shot to increase their options with him and to increase his trade value. I'm not sure how many minor league games he actually appeared in the outfield, but I do remember there being discussion about whether or not he had the glove to be a middle infielder or the bat to be a corner outfielder. They also had Soriano spend a little bit of time at second base for emergency reasons ...

And those emergency reasons came to life when second baseman Chuck Knoblauch forgot how to throw a ball to first base. The Yankees decided the best option was to move Knoblauch to left field, thereby moving Soriano to second base full-time on the big squad in 2001. They also traded one Wily Mo Pena to the Reds for Drew Henson with hopes that Henson would eventually take over for Brosius at third.

it's kind of like six-degrees of Kevin Bacon........

savafan
03-21-2006, 03:48 AM
it's kind of like six-degrees of Kevin Bacon........

After reading that, you almost feel like Soriano has to end up a Red at some point in his career.

Cyclone792
03-21-2006, 03:49 AM
Yeah, but if Larry Walker didn't want to play 2B, then you wouldn't make him, right? ;)

Soriano still hasn't played the outfield in the majors, parts of 7 seasons now.

Larry Walker won seven Gold Gloves as an outfielder, and he also had a phenomenal outfield arm that terrified opposing baserunners. On the other hand, Soriano is a defensive liability at second base.

I don't think Soriano doesn't want to move because he hasn't played outfield in his big league career, moreso, I think Soriano doesn't want to move because his value goes down the cliff as an outfielder when compared to being at second base. As a second baseman, there's a perception that he's one of the top hitting second basemen in the league (I say perception because he's vastly overrated offensively). Power hitting corner outfielders are all over the place so his offensive production there is ho-hum.

If MLB teams see Soriano as a corner outfielder after 2006, his potential for big money in the free agent market dwindles. Pay day is much sweeter for him if at second base than it is in left field.

BCubb2003
03-21-2006, 03:56 AM
it's kind of like six-degrees of Kevin Bacon........

The Baseball Oracle. (Note Joe Nuxhall's ranking)

http://www.baseball-reference.com/oracle/linkable_most.shtml

Cyclone792
03-21-2006, 03:57 AM
it's kind of like six-degrees of Kevin Bacon........

Yea, humorous when you really look at it. If Chuck Knoblauch never forgets how to throw a ball to first base, then it's possible Alfonso Soriano would have come up as an 3B/OF for the Yanks. But when Knoblauch's problems get outta control, Soriano is moved to second, the Yanks have a future hole at third and Drew Henson looks appealing.

Makes you wonder that if Chuck Knoblauch didn't come down with a problem that baffled us all if Wily Mo Pena to the Reds, Bronson Arroyo and today's fun discussions ever take place.

REDREAD
03-21-2006, 09:11 AM
The problem is that you will need someone to take Soriano to get the draft pick. Given that he gets 10million this yaer he will probably chuck a Sosa if someone wants to sign him below that. If he sits out a year - do the REDS still get a draft pick?

The Reds would have to offer Soraino arbitration in order to get the draft pick. Pretty risky, with Sorainio's attitude. Let's say the Reds trade for him and let him play 2b... he might get more in arb than on the free market, and accept.

buckeyenut
03-21-2006, 09:55 AM
The Reds would have to offer Soraino arbitration in order to get the draft pick. Pretty risky, with Sorainio's attitude. Let's say the Reds trade for him and let him play 2b... he might get more in arb than on the free market, and accept.
But the caveat in all that is you are trading Eric Milton. At that point, you put Soriano at 2B then flip him to a contender at the deadline or let him walk for nothing. Better than paying Milton next year.

flyer85
03-21-2006, 09:56 AM
Soriano doesn't feel comfortable playing the outfield. He is a second baseman. second baseman needs to be in quotes.

buckeyenut
03-21-2006, 09:57 AM
Better yet, offer them Milton and Tony Womack. Womack played the OF last year for NYY and he is a proven winner in the mold of Vinny Castilla. He is also 2B insurance in case Vidro can't go. Bowden might droll on himself for that deal. Might even get a throw-in prospect.

TRF
03-21-2006, 10:19 AM
Soriano doesn't feel comfortable playing the outfield. He is a second baseman. Looking at the similar batters to Soriano on baseball-reference.com, I see Larry Walker's name mentioned. You wouldn't move Walker to second base if he wasn't comfortable playing there.

Soriano has never played the outfield. Jose Vidro played 3 games in leftfield in 1999. Why not move Vidro to the outfield?

Craig Biggio says howdy.

redsmetz
03-21-2006, 10:26 AM
In depth article in today's Washington Post (washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com)) about this subject. Bowden gambled on the deal without finding out if he'd play the OF--he had refused to go to SS for the Rangers and actually almost became an OF for the Yankees when he first came up (they preferred him there, but he had to play 2b when Chuck Knoblach had his throwing problems).

Here's Tom Boswell's column in the Washington Post:


Nats Draw a Line in the Dirt

By Thomas Boswell
Tuesday, March 21, 2006; Page E01

Can you imagine Alfonso Soriano refusing to switch from second base to left field if Manager Sadaharu Oh had asked him to make the sacrifice for the sake of Japan's team in last night's World Baseball Classic championship? Such selfishness, placing the individual ego far above the team's needs, especially in response to a reasonable request, would be virtually unthinkable in Japanese baseball, where diva behavior is anathema.

To carry the illustration to an extreme, imagine Soriano refusing to change positions if he played for the Cuban team in that WBC title game. Fidel Castro might have disposed of the body before game time. Yet last night Soriano refused a direct order from Nationals Manager Frank Robinson to go to left field to start the game. The Nats took the field with eight men, underlining Soriano's insubordination, despite a $10 million contract.

By leaving left field momentarily empty, Washington took a stand for all of baseball to see. Sometimes, the world goes mad and somebody needs to say, "Stop. This is crazy." That's what the Nats have done. If Soriano refuses again in Wednesday's game, the team will put him on the disqualified list and not pay him. Such a stand, once taken, won't be reversed.

And it's the right decision. If Soriano and the Nationals go to war and stay at war, then Jim Bowden's trade last December 7th may live in local infamy and perhaps even cost the general manager his job. But at this point the team and the player are where they are. How they got there doesn't matter anymore. At some point, sanity has to prevail.

If anything, the recent experience of the WBC, with the embarrassing early exit of the rich U.S. "team" may have helped people in baseball rediscover common sense with the Nats as a prime example.

We don't need to emulate the cultures of Japan, South Korea, or certainly Cuba. But there's something for everybody to learn. The WBC's message is that major league self-centeredness is both ugly on its face and also vulnerable on the field, especially when confronted by teams that understand the value of teamwork, morale and unselfishness. We do not have to mimic other cultures to recognize that our own permissiveness has completely run amok.

Few can miss the symbolism of Soriano's last two appearances, or non-appearances, on a baseball field. On Saturday, the Dominican Republic sent Soriano to bat as a pinch hitter with two outs in the ninth inning against Cuba. A homer would have tied the game. Instead, Soriano struck out weakly, ending the WBC 0 for 12, one of only two players to bat .000 in the Classic.

Soriano was benched by his native country in the final games of the WBC as if to vindicate the Nats' view that he is an inferior second baseman and should switch positions (like Rod Carew and Pete Rose). Replacing him was Placido Polanco, a .300 hitter with little of Soriano's home run power or base stealing ability. Because of the absence of Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero, the Dominicans -- like the Nats -- were short-handed in the outfield and would have welcomed a raised hand by a volunteer like Soriano. But the 30-year-old, who is tied for the worst career fielding percentage at second base in the last 50 years (.971), apparently plays the outfield for no man, team or country. Instead, the Dominican outfield included young Willy Tavares, who has no power, and Wily Mo Peņa, who has no speed.

All sports have watershed moments. Baseball is at one now. The public is sick of stars whose bodies are inflated by steroids or whose egos are inflated by wealth. Barry Bonds is stuck with being the poster child for the former. Somebody, presumably Soriano's agent, Diego Bentz, should tell him that he doesn't want to risk becoming the $10 Million Man Who Wouldn't Move.

As for the Nats, they have no choice but to stick with their decision. If they buckle on their disqualified list threat, they'll have no credibility left with any player on any issue.

In other words, the Nationals have already taken the full hit. They've admitted that trading Brad Wilkerson (and two others) for Soriano -- before asking him if he would switch positions -- may have been a disaster. Texas refused permission for the Nats to talk to Soriano. That alone was a red flag. So, the maximum possible amount of egg is already on Bowden's face. Moreover, Soriano's trade value has shrunk by the day. At this point, is there a trade available -- perhaps for a No. 4 starter -- that's even worth doing? As for Robinson, his ability to reach Soriano either through persuasion or authority has been spurned.

The only conceivable compensation in this calamity might be that, when all grievance machinations are done, the Nats might save $10 million in payroll for other uses. As silver linings go, that's pathetic.

The Nationals are now "all in" on this one. They didn't wait for an Opening Day showdown. They took it now. They don't claim it was smart to trade for Soriano without talking to him. It was a calculated risk -- one that, so far, has blown up. Now, with a disqualified list threat, the team has burned its bridges.

Will Soriano burn his?

Will he run the risk of sitting out all or part of the season at a cost of $61,728 a game? Does he grasp that his main reason for refusing to play in the outfield -- that it might diminish his free agent value -- may be nothing compared to the damage he can do to himself in his next contract if he refuses to honor his current deal?

For the Nats, Soriano has provided an opportunity as well as a crisis. In their second year in town, with a new owner soon to arrive, the Nats have a chance to establish a fundamental operating principle. Are they a club that expects its high-paid players to act like adults when faced with sensible demands to help the team? Or like weak parents, do they let the kids run the family?

Right now, Soriano feels sorry for himself. He has his reasons. But there are limits to sympathy. In the end, he's not a victim, but a $10 million employee who'll be free after this season.

Let him play left field. Or let him sit home and sulk. The Nats can send him a satellite dish so he can see what he's missing.

Red Leader
03-21-2006, 10:35 AM
it's kind of like six-degrees of Kevin Bacon........

Don't forget Eric Milton's first act in this gig. He was traded from the Yankees to the Twins for Chuck Knoblauch, which set this whole thing in motion...ahhh, the Circle of Life. ;)

registerthis
03-21-2006, 10:52 AM
Soriano doesn't want to switch positions to a spot that he isn't comfortable with playing. I don't see why he is the bad guy here. The fault in this mess lies with Jim Bowden.

No, the fault lies squarely on the shoulders of Soriano.

The deal for Soriano was a blown trade by Bowden. At the time he made it, it was simply a dumb trade--one that made sense only when you consider that Bowden likes the deals for the flashy 5 tool players. With the trouble that is now brewing over the move (or non-move) of Soriano to the outfield, and the revelations in yesterday's Post about the Rangers' refusal to let the Nats speak with Soriano prior to the trade, the trade looks flat-out idiotic. This is something that GMs can--and should--be fired for, particularly when there is this much money at stake. So I completely fault Bowden for making an idiotic trade.

However, there is a much larger issue at stake here than simply a blown trade. Namely, the insubordination of a player. Soriano is an employee of the Washington Nationals. His contract does not stipulate that he'll play only one position, or that he can decide if and when he will play--it says only that he will provide his services to the Nationals in exchange for the annual salary of $10 million. When and how his services are used are completely at the discretion of the team. Soriano lacks the authority to determine where on the field he will play. Even though he clearly has a preference, and believes he is better suited to play at second base, that Nationals believe otherwise--and in the end, theirs is the only opinion that matters.

Soriano could not, for example, state that he will only start against left-handed pitchers, or that he will not play in any day games, or will not play on weekends. He could not decide that he will only bat second in the batting order, or will not play in any games past the fifth inning. Likewise, he also cannot dictate where on the field he will play. If he is truly ill-suited to playing left field, and his production suffers, then the Nationals will be hurting themselves by their decision. But that is a problem for them to decide, not him.

This whole thing is such a mess, and there are many, many people here in D.C. who wish that Brad Wilkerson were still here--happily patrolling right field. But that's not the case. How and why Soriano was brought here are moot questions now, because he's here and he has to deal with it. If he refuses to take the field on Wednesday, the Nationals have said they will place him on the disqualified list. The Player's Union might fight it, but they may also decide that this is not a fight they want to have. the Nationals hold all of the chips in this argument, the Players Union doesn't have much to stand on. If Soriano wishes to continue his productive baseball career, he'll play wherever the Nationals determine he should play. If he doesn't, he's flushing an otherwise noteworthy career down the drain.

Joseph
03-21-2006, 11:06 AM
I think I just heard on the DC talk station that the Nats were going to ask to put him on the ineligible list or some such. Anyone else hear this?

registerthis
03-21-2006, 11:15 AM
I think I just heard on the DC talk station that the Nats were going to ask to put him on the ineligible list or some such. Anyone else hear this?

Disqualified List, I believe. And I understood that it would happen if he refused to take the field on Wednesday. It could be that he's made it staunchly clear that he won't take the field on Wednesday, and the Nats may simply have moved their deadline up by a day.

flyer85
03-21-2006, 11:39 AM
I'm laughing at Ol' Leatherpants on this one. I guess generating heat rather than light isn't always a good thing. Think he would like Wilkerson back?

vaticanplum
03-21-2006, 12:02 PM
Now before I say this, I want to make it clear that I AM NOT defending Soriano's actions and I agree with most of what Boswell wrote. However, the following logic always astounds me:


Will he run the risk of sitting out all or part of the season at a cost of $61,728 a game? Does he grasp that his main reason for refusing to play in the outfield -- that it might diminish his free agent value -- may be nothing compared to the damage he can do to himself in his next contract if he refuses to honor his current deal?

When a player acts this way and receives a loss of salary, present and/or future, as punishment, this is always the reaction of sportswriters and many fans. "Doesn't he realize how much MONEY he's losing?!?!" Of course he does. Alfonso Soriano is an unusually intelligent baseball player, and even if he weren't, it's all been made pretty clear by now. He's obviously considered this and his stance, for whatever reason, is more important to him than the money. It's pretty incomprehensible to those of us who don't make $61,000 a day or $10 million a year, but that's his choice. While I don't in any way agree with what he's doing, the fact that he's rejecting the money almost makes me respect whatever reason(s) he has for doing so.

People go on and on about how athletes are spoiled crybabies who only care about the money, but then on the rare occasions on which they give up the money in favor of other things, all they can talk about is how stupid they are to give up the money. It's a fallacy and it doesn't make any sense to me.

registerthis
03-21-2006, 12:17 PM
Alfonso Soriano is an unusually intelligent baseball player, and even if he weren't, it's all been made pretty clear by now. He's obviously considered this and his stance, for whatever reason, is more important to him than the money.

I'm not certain that's the case here. This is pure speculation, since we obviously aren't privy to the conversations between players and their agents, but it's entirely possible that Soriano's agent has been telling him that the Player's Union will step in to defend him on this matter, and that the likelihood of getting dismissed from the team and, thus, losing a year's worth of salary is practically nil. Soriano could very well be approaching this issue to call the team's bluff and, when and if they do suspend him, rely upon the Player's Union to bail hom out of his situation.

Soriano clearly prefers to play second, likely for a mix of reasons--comfort and the likelihood of receiving another large contract there next year as chief among them. You could be correct, Vatican, but it's also possible that Soriano doesn't care about principle, he simply may not believe the repercussions for his behavior are going to be as severe as they could be.

vaticanplum
03-21-2006, 12:22 PM
I do wish we had a better idea of his motives. It will be interesting to see what he does tomorrow. How I love me some spring training suspense.

bucksfan
03-21-2006, 01:17 PM
Boswell says " Instead, the Dominican outfield included young Willy Tavares, who has no power, and Wily Mo Peña, who has no speed." ?? Perhaps he meant "glove"?

I agree it would be very interesting to know why he so vehemently opposes playing the OF. Whatever the answer, it still seems as though it woul dbe extremely hard to justify is unwillingness to do what his team wanted/needed him to do, especially when it appears it is somethign he would be all-too-capable of doing.

registerthis
03-21-2006, 01:19 PM
I agree it would be very interesting to know why he so vehemently opposes playing the OF. Whatever the answer, it still seems as though it woul dbe extremely hard to justify is unwillingness to do what his team wanted/needed him to do, especially when it appears it is somethign he would be all-too-capable of doing.

...and all-too-willing to do when he was with the Yankees.

TeamSelig
03-21-2006, 01:24 PM
Just have Jose Guillen beat him up until he takes the field. Problem solved.

PTBNL
03-21-2006, 01:31 PM
For Sori it is not about the money, it will be about the loss of service time. Even if he sits out all year he will not be a "available" at the end of this year. The longer he sits, the longer his 'sentence.' The only way out of this is for the Nats to suck it up and work out a trade.

Doc. Scott
03-21-2006, 01:32 PM
Bowden "gambled"? That's a euphemism for "didn't bother considering". Just like he didn't bother finding out if Drew Henson was willing to play anywhere else but New York. (Luckily for him, he wriggled out of looking like a total moron at that one.)

That wasn't a "gamble". That was stupidity. Period.

Chip R
03-21-2006, 01:34 PM
Just have Jose Guillen beat him up until he takes the field. Problem solved.

Then they would have to put him on the DL and pay him. ;)

This is another example of the huge conflict of interest MLB has in owning this team. Let's say Soriano is put on the DQ list. He appeals and the final decision goes to... the guy who heads up the organization who owns the team. Whether you believe Soriano is justified or not, he at least deserves a hearing in front of someone who isn't involved with the team.

tsj017
03-21-2006, 02:35 PM
This whole thing is yet another reason to be glad that Jim Bowden is someone else's GM.

:thumbup:

registerthis
03-21-2006, 02:54 PM
For Sori it is not about the money, it will be about the loss of service time. Even if he sits out all year he will not be a "available" at the end of this year. The longer he sits, the longer his 'sentence.' The only way out of this is for the Nats to suck it up and work out a trade.

No, the Nats don't have to work out a trade, they can simply demand that he play left field, then continue to designate him as "disqualified" and not have to pay him. Granted, that's probably the most acid reflux-inducing option for both sides, but the very reason we've even reached this point is because the Nats don't *have* to do anything. The ball is in Soriano's court, so to speak...he can suck it up and play a position he would rather not do, the Nats could find a willing trading partner and unload him, or Soriano can head back home and watch the season unfold on his telly.

smith288
03-21-2006, 02:54 PM
This whole thing is yet another reason to be glad that Jim Bowden is someone else's GM.

:thumbup:
True... But I wouldn't exactly say im basking in the glory of the current regime. But its still early.

registerthis
03-21-2006, 02:55 PM
Bowden "gambled"? That's a euphemism for "didn't bother considering". Just like he didn't bother finding out if Drew Henson was willing to play anywhere else but New York. (Luckily for him, he wriggled out of looking like a total moron at that one.)

That wasn't a "gamble". That was stupidity. Period.

Agreed. There is no way to spin this trade as anything other that complete and total idiocy.

deltachi8
03-21-2006, 03:01 PM
I think this has alot to do with Soriano not wanting to play in that cavern in DC. He knows his numbers take a dive there and may limit his $ in free agency. Refusing to play LF (not saying he truly doesnt want to play there) may be his way to force a trade to a more numbers friendly park.

Red Leader
03-21-2006, 06:31 PM
Maybe the Reds are going to get in on this? Trade Milton and Valentin for Soriano. They now have a backup catcher should they want to move one that they have, and the Nats need a backup catcher (see other Robinson/Bowden fight from earlier this offseason), and could use help with the rotation.

I'd do it, simply for the fact that it'd put Soriano in GABP for this year at 2B, and leave Womack on the outside looking at no playing time. You'd also get a helluva lot more for Soriano at the trade deadline than Milton and Valentin packaged together...

VI_RedsFan
03-21-2006, 06:40 PM
Maybe the Reds are going to get in on this? Trade Milton and Valentin for Soriano. They now have a backup catcher should they want to move one that they have, and the Nats need a backup catcher (see other Robinson/Bowden fight from earlier this offseason), and could use help with the rotation.

I'd do it, simply for the fact that it'd put Soriano in GABP for this year at 2B, and leave Womack on the outside looking at no playing time. You'd also get a helluva lot more for Soriano at the trade deadline than Milton and Valentin packaged together...

I would do that, RL. This deal gives us the oppertunity to rid Milton and get a great offensive addition. Soriano would tear it up here, giving us the oppertunity to deal him for good, young pitching at the deadline.

But, I would leave Valentin out of the deal and send LaRue to LA for Penny instead. Maybe we could add a reliever and get the Dodgers to include Choi in the deal.

savafan
03-22-2006, 02:40 AM
More info:

http://washingtontimes.com/sports/20060321-122141-1430r.htm

VIERA, Fla. -- Eight members of the Washington Nationals' starting lineup took the field last night at Space Coast Stadium. Alfonso Soriano did not, and that act of defiance turned this club's single biggest issue into a full-blown, highly convoluted mess.
In his first day back with the Nationals after participating in the World Baseball Classic, Soriano was penciled into manager Frank Robinson's lineup as the leadoff hitter and left fielder for an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Soriano, though, refused to take the field, setting into motion a chain of events that could lead to the 30-year-old essentially being suspended by the Nationals and forfeiting his $10?million salary.
"We believe it is the club's right, based on the basic agreement, based on his contract, that a player needs to play the position that the manager wants to put him in to win, regardless of who that player is," general manager Jim Bowden said minutes after the start of last night's game. "He refused to do that today."
The Nationals hope to have the matter resolved within the next 48 hours. Bowden and Robinson said Soriano again will be in the lineup in left field for the team's next scheduled game, tomorrow afternoon against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla. If Soriano refuses to play, Bowden said the club will ask Major League Baseball to place him on the "disqualified list," under which he would lose his salary, not accrue any major league service time, lose his opportunity to become a free agent at season's end and remain the property of the Nationals.
"We do not want it to come to that," Bowden said. "We have compassion for him. But ... we have a team to run. And our feeling is we don't want to wait until Opening Day to do this. If he's going to play left field, he needs to be out there now for the next couple of weeks to play. If he's not going to play for us, we need to know so we can go forward."
Soriano, who appeared in uniform on the field only during afternoon pregame workouts, dressed and left the ballpark before the second inning. He turned down interview requests as he walked to his car, saying, "I don't want to comment, not today."
Asked whether he would speak today -- the Nationals' only scheduled day off of the spring -- Soriano replied, "It's a day off."
Asked about tomorrow, he said, "We'll see, we'll see. I don't know."
Diego Bentz, Soriano's agent, did not return messages left for him last night.
Despite their attempts to convince Soriano to have a change of heart, club officials knew before game time he would not take the field. Robinson met with his disgruntled player for 15 minutes in the early afternoon, during which time Soriano politely but firmly stood his ground.
Soriano then went out and took infield practice at second base, along with Jose Vidro, even though Robinson had him listed in the lineup in left field. He took more grounders at second during batting practice and spent several minutes talking with Dodgers coach Mariano Duncan, who has known Soriano since childhood and advised him to do as the club asked.

Following batting practice, Soriano met with Robinson and Bowden and reiterated his position.
"Nothing is against his will," Robinson said before the game. "He doesn't have to go out there. I can't force him to go out there. The manager of a ballclub makes out the lineup, informs him he's in the lineup tonight and he's playing left field. ... For the ballclub's sake, for his sake, I hope he does. I hope he goes out to left field."
When the Nationals took the field in the top of the first, though, Soriano was nowhere to be found, so Robinson emerged from the dugout and approached plate umpire Mike Estabrook. Robinson informed Estabrook he was making a change and signaled for Brandon Watson to come off the bench and take over center field, with Ryan Church moving from center to fill the vacancy in left.
Robinson retreated to the dugout step, looked inside and put his hand on his hip, clearly frustrated.
"I've never had it happen before myself," Robinson said after the game. "I don't feel betrayed, though. That's his decision."
Bowden confirmed he would trade Soriano if the right offer was presented to him. To date, the GM has not been satisfied with any offer, and he expressed doubts last night that a deal could be reached within the next few days.
"We obviously will field offers, but we're not going to give the player away," Bowden said. "If we can make a deal that makes sense, we would have. ... We've not had a trade proposal that we thought was worth considering to this point."
Soriano's teammates publicly spoke diplomatically about the situation. Privately, though, several expressed feelings of anger and abandonment by a player who even Robinson admitted has created a major distraction in a camp already filled with enough problems.
"I just hope they can fix that situation," right fielder Jose Guillen said. "I think everybody's a grown-enough man here. I just hope for the best for the team and those guys can fix the situation. Let's let Jim and Soriano and his agent fix the situation."

Jpup
03-22-2006, 08:05 AM
Soriano's story is that his name was not posted on the clubhouse lineup card and he didn't know about it until Nick Johnson called him during the game. Bowden should not have traded for him if he wasn't going to play him at 2nd base. Things like this is why Jim Bowden should be unemployed. I'm not saying that Soriano shouldn't go out there and play, but there is always 2 sides to the story. A lot of you are making assumptions based on Jim Bowden's side. We all know that isn't a good idea.:bang: I imagine that Soriano will be back in New York, one or the other, before July.

Soriano will be in left field for the Nationals today.

I would think that Pena and Milton for Soriano would have worked, but who knows? I don't think it would have improved the Reds this year, but it would greatly help for the next 2. How about Kearns and Milton for Soriano and some kind of decent arm in the minors? I hate to trade Austin because he can play defense and I think he will learn to hit again, eventually, but I really would like to get rid of Milton. You are basically gaining 8 million for Austin Kearns and his future.

Keithwg_24
03-22-2006, 11:21 AM
is his defense really that much of a liability? At first glance he most certainly is as Jeff Brantly put it "the worst 2nd baseman in the National League." I have an argument FOR his defense though, I'd love opinions as I may be way off base here, but you could make the argument that not only is he good to have at 2nd (not necessarily a *good* 2b'man) he *may* be a better option than Vidro at 2nd base. Before you slam me, hear me out.......

Soriano averages .3 more assists per game, which leads directly to 48.6 more outs over a 162 game season, or 45.9 over the 153 games Soriano played at 2B last season. For Soriano's errors to completly offset this, compared to Vidro, he'd have to commit 48 (or 45) more durring the season. In 2005, Soriano committed 21 errors. An astronomic number, I grant you. HOWEVER, Vidro committed 5, but in just over half as many games as Soriano (79 v. 153). So let's say, over the same 153 game stretch, Vidro would commit 9 errors. 21-9 = 12. 12 < 48.6 (or 45.9). Therefore, while Soriano's errors are annoying, they are offset by his superior range. Watch a Jeff Kent play 2B. Unless a ball is basically hit directly at him, he ain't getting to it. In 1996, Barry larkin committed 17 errors at SS, for a mediocre .967%fp.... granted, you get MANY more opps at SS and it's almost comparing apples and oranges with differing positions, but Larking won the NL gold glove that year.....

westofyou
03-22-2006, 11:41 AM
Maybe the Reds are going to get in on this?

No way, he's not a Special K player, gets paid way too much and is going FA next year, and wants to be in the AL.

If he goes on the suspension list the Nats trading leverage is completely shot, they'll have to get less and probably send cash along with Soriano.

Bowdens moves with Soriano have been as astute as Custers decision to cross the Medicine Tail Coulee River to attack a sleeping village.

registerthis
03-22-2006, 11:42 AM
Soriano's story is that his name was not posted on the clubhouse lineup card and he didn't know about it until Nick Johnson called him during the game. Bowden should not have traded for him if he wasn't going to play him at 2nd base. Things like this is why Jim Bowden should be unemployed. I'm not saying that Soriano shouldn't go out there and play, but there is always 2 sides to the story. A lot of you are making assumptions based on Jim Bowden's side.

I don't see anyone taking 'Bowden's side." Bowden's side is that he made a stupid, idiotic trade without doing the due dilligence and preparation that such a trade should generally require. I vote to run him up the flag pole.

However, a stupid trade on Bowden's part does not excuse insubordination on Soriano's. Whether he likes it or not, Soriano is the property of the Nationals and, as such, must follow their decisions and orders with regards to where and when he plays.

BRM
03-22-2006, 11:43 AM
No way, he's not a Special K player, gets paid way too much and is going FA next year, and wants to be in the AL.


Couldn't the Reds use him as a deadline trading chip? His numbers would probably look pretty good at GAB.

Red Leader
03-22-2006, 11:47 AM
Couldn't the Reds use him as a deadline trading chip? His numbers would probably look pretty good at GAB.

That's what I was suggesting. Trade 'em Milton and Valentin, heck throw in Elizardo for them as well, for Soriano. Gives your offense that big boost you just lost from the WMP trade, saves a butt load of money long term, and you get to trade Soriano to whoever wants him at the deadline. You'd probably get some serious prospects back for him. Even if the return is Wilkerson, Sledge, and Armando Galarraga, it's still better than being stuck with Milton and his contract for another year.

westofyou
03-22-2006, 11:52 AM
Couldn't the Reds use him as a deadline trading chip? His numbers would probably look pretty good at GAB.The cost would be too much, the player too iffy, his numbers could look bad, a team could have no need for a guy that is due another 4 milllion and will only play 2nd base.

My father bought a 56 T Bird a few years ago, figuring that it would be easy to add some things to and flip for a profit... he sunk a couple grand into making it cherry and then couldn't get rid of it, it had a limited market and the price was too much.

Eventually he got what he paid for it, but not what he invested in it.

Soriano is that type of player now, Home Runs and Arbritration in the age of increased run production has created many false gods.

Red Leader
03-22-2006, 11:56 AM
The cost would be too much, the player too iffy, his numbers could look bad, a team could have no need for a guy that is due another 4 milllion and will only play 2nd base.



But, in the Reds case, if they dealt Milton/Valentin/E.Ramirez for Soriano and they couldn't trade him at the deadline, at least they shed Milton's contract, and get a draft pick...well unless Soriano accepted arbitration. :scared:

BRM
03-22-2006, 11:57 AM
The cost would be too much, the player too iffy, his numbers could look bad, a team could have no need for a guy that is due another 4 milllion and will only play 2nd base.

My father bought a 56 T Bird a few years ago, figuring that it would be easy to add some things to and flip for a profit... he sunk a couple grand into making it cherry and then couldn't get rid of it, it had a limited market and the price was too much.

Eventually he got what he paid for it, but not what he invested in it.

Soriano is that type of player now, Home Runs and Arbritration in the age of increased run production has created many false gods.

My dad did that with a 46 Plymouth Business Coupe a couple of years ago. He turned a decent profit on it.

I understand what you're saying. It would be a roll of the dice with his performance. However, if Milton was one of the players going to D.C., would that make the deal worth doing?

PTBNL
03-22-2006, 04:16 PM
Faced with opening the season on the disqualified list, Alfonso Soriano has decided to play left field for the Nationals. "It's a relief for everybody, it really is," manager Frank Robinson said. "We get the distractions away from here and we can focus on baseball now and getting this ballclub tuned up and ready to go for Opening Day."

Red Leader
03-22-2006, 04:19 PM
Faced with opening the season on the disqualified list, Alfonso Soriano has decided to play left field for the Nationals. "It's a relief for everybody, it really is," manager Frank Robinson said. "We get the distractions away from here and we can focus on baseball now and getting this ballclub tuned up and ready to go for Opening Day."

....But Soriano said that he'd only play in LF today. He wants to start at 2B tomorrow and for the regular season...;) :p:

PTBNL
03-22-2006, 05:16 PM
Story out now:
FoxSports link (http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5433392)

Sori's a REALLY great clubhouse guy. I hope this stays behind him and everyone moves on.

Bowden trying to save face: :laugh:
"The risk is always there," Bowden said. "When I made the Ken Griffey Jr. trade with Cincinnati, everyone said this was one of the best trades in baseball, congratulations, and he was hurt for four years and it was a horrible trade.

registerthis
03-22-2006, 05:18 PM
Bowden trying to save face: :laugh:
"The risk is always there," Bowden said. "When I made the Ken Griffey Jr. trade with Cincinnati, everyone said this was one of the best trades in baseball, congratulations, and he was hurt for four years and it was a horrible trade.

Big difference there, JimBo: One situation was easily forseeable. The other was not.

Bowden won't be in D.C. by the end of this season.

PTBNL
03-22-2006, 05:48 PM
I would NOT be buying a home in the DC area if I were that guy!

registerthis
03-22-2006, 07:18 PM
I would NOT be buying a home in the DC area if I were that guy!

I'm not sure he could afford it. A 1 bedroom condo across the street from my fiancee's place just sold for $800k. This is a condo with >800 sq. feet and in a "developing" neighborhood.

Sorry, this really has nothing to do with the topic at hand, it's just me venting...

REDREAD
03-23-2006, 08:07 AM
But the caveat in all that is you are trading Eric Milton. At that point, you put Soriano at 2B then flip him to a contender at the deadline or let him walk for nothing. Better than paying Milton next year.

Sure, I'd do Soriano for Milton in a heartbeat, but there's no way Washington does. Milton has negative value now. The Nationals would be better off suspending Soriano the entire year, than being stuck with Milton and his contract the next two years. I don't mean to put down your idea, but I think we have to accept that Milton and Wilson are totally untradable at this point. There's maybe a 10% chance that Milton is tradable at the deadline, because most likely everyone is scared to death to deal for him..

I mean, if Milton was on another team, would you want the Reds to acquire him, regardless of the cost? Of course not.